E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial (10/3/12)

E.T.Movie Two Hundred Twenty

E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial is the touching story of a lost alien and the boy who helps him find his way home.

A large spacecraft lands in a forested area of California and a group of small aliens are collecting local plants. A group of men from the government appear in trucks and the aliens flee and fly away, leaving one member behind. The alien winds up in a storage shed in a family’s backyard and is discovered by Elliott (Henry Thomas), who cannot believe what he is seeing. The following evening, after his mother (Dee Wallace), brother, Michael (Robert MacNaughton), and younger sister, Gertie (Drew Barrymore), don’t believe him, Elliott lures the alien into his room with a trail of Reese’s Pieces. After staying home from school with his new friend, Elliott and E.T. begin to form a mental bond and as his family finally sees the truth, the government is closing in on capturing the extra-terrestrial, but all E.T. wants is to go home.

First off, I want to extend my deepest thanks to Brandie from True Classics for their giveaway to see E.T. live in theaters for one-night only! It has probably been about 20 years since I had last watched E.T. and I knew that I couldn’t miss it in theaters. Also, my wife had never seen the movie, which was too shocking to let slide.

E.T. is one of those magical films that someone from any age can likely relate to because the themes are universal; friendship, sacrifice, love, etc. The magic of E.T. largely comes from the cast, primarily comprised of the three children, who bring a sense of pure childlike wonderment onscreen. Barrymore was about 6 during filming and she honestly gives perhaps the best performance of her career here. Even E.T. himself is kind of cute and human enough that he is easy to relate to. You understand his plight, you can imagine how scared you would be winding up stranded on a strange planet and then finding a friend. The premise is simple but incredibly touching.

The theatrical presentation of E.T. is based on a newly restored theatrical print of the film for its 30th anniversary. I note this because I learned that the previous restoration had been edited to remove the guns of the FBI agents. Well, the guns are back for this print, which is the same version as the newly released 30th anniversary blu-ray. The restoration was crisp, vibrant, and sounded clear. The theater was pretty crowded with families and children, so I’m glad they were able to experience E.T. in its true form (likely looking better than ever) on the big screen.

After seeing E.T. again as an adult, I teared up a bit, laughed, got tense, smiled, and got chills and it’s rare that a film can evoke all these emotions without skipping a beat. E.T. is also further proof that Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest directors of all time. After I came home from the theater I immediately went online and purchased the blu-ray of E.T. so I could watch it again and get behind the scenes.

I give it 5 E.T. makes a surprisingly attractive woman out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


46 responses to “E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial (10/3/12)

  1. Nice review. Been a long time since I have seen this one myself. I was a hold out until they fixed the gun issue. Now that they are back I am going to try and find time to watch it.

  2. “E.T.” ranks as my favorite film of all time.

    I was probably the ideal age to watch it in theatres when it first came out, nine. It was great to a nine year old in all counts and packed an emotional wallup. So much so that I purposely never purchased a Beta, VHS, DVD or anything else of it, so as to not ruin my memory of how I felt.

    I made the mistake a few years back of watching it on the big screen when they released again after they removed the guns. Since I wasn’t nine, it didn’t pack the same punch. Because of the let down I stopped calling it my favorite film.

    Luckily I watched it again last year on the biggest screen in Miami. Without the expectation of it living up to how I felt the first time I watched it, I enjoyed it greatly.

    Now it’s my favorite again.

    Great review.

  3. I remember my parents taking my sister and I to see E.T. when we were kids. We even had the large movie poster on our wall. It is nice to know this current re-release is unedited, now I can finally grab a copy.

    • I think it is time, I wasn’t super excited to see it again – I was more excited for my wife to see it – but it was a really great time

  4. Great review. And yeah, well, I think E.T’s woman is far more attractive than Gosling’s in ‘All Good Things’ lol (sorry, could not help but to comment). On a more serious note, I find it interesting the way this film got into people’s consciousness over the years (if we are so impressed by it now, I can only imagine people’s reaction in early 1980s). The sheer power of this film, its amazing. The film is a true classic of family genre.

  5. I remember back in 1982 I held off for ages seeing it as there was soooo much hype around at the time. But when I finally did – I loved it. I’m pleased to hear the guns are back. But did they cut the full body shot of ET watching the ship depart at the beginning? It wasn’t in the original (and was only inserted for the 20th anniversary release). In my mind this was an even bigger misstep than the guns – as it deflated the carefully built-up mystery of what ET actually looked like (when we see only his hands) – leading up to the big reveal in Elliott’s room. Nice review by the way. 🙂

  6. Great review. E. T.’s one of my favorite films of all time and I can’t decide whether this or Jaws is better. Nothing makes me feel the same way E. T. does. I missed the opportunity to see it in theaters but I’m going to buy it as soon as it comes to Blu-Ray.

  7. I remember seeing this as a kid and absolutely loving it. Just read a great interview this past weekend with Steven Spielberg about this film and watching it with his kids for the first time. It was a great article.

    And what did your wife think? Did she like it too?

      • Glad that she loved it. And the article was in my Entertainment Weekly magazine from this past week. They had a reunion article with him, Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas. I will see if it is online and send you the link.

          • Yes, it is the one with the Melrose Place cast on the cover. The issue was all about “Reunions” to they had a reunion with Steven Speilberg, Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas. Was a good read.

  8. I know this alien’s home planet, and some of his kind actually live on earth. They blend in with children pretty well (like in the movie.) I love that humans like this kind of alien because it’s small and “cute.” I find him short and ugly! I mean, we are majestic, tall graceful creatures, but humans are terrified of us. Whatever!

  9. Awesome. Glad you got to see it in theaters. When it came out 10 years ago for the 20th anniversary I made sure to see it. I have also picked it up on bluray. Its nice to hear you have much the same thoughts about it as I do.

  10. So jealous you got to see this on the big screen. This is one of my favourite films from my childhood so I can imagine it was quite the experience. You’ve just earned someone a little extra money as I’m off to order the Blu ray.

  11. One of the few movies which still manages to make me tear up a bit. Nice review. Did this version still have the digital E.T.? It’s something I didn’t like about the previous rerelease (luckily Spielberg was wise enough to include the original on the DVD).

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